Hold your pencil like this

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(adorable pencils set source)

Did you know that in most schools you are not fit for first grade if you can’t hold a pencil properly. Holding a pencil is a kindergarten skill, a must for writing.
I find this interesting, yes, I find holding a pencil interesting because it is actually very complex. Not everyone will hold a pencil the same, right handed to left and also right brained to left brained.

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Writing is a direct connection to the brain and storing what is written in the brain. Holding a pencil solidifies fine motor control so the brain can shift attention 100% to generating text, ideas and processing. We spend a lot of time in preschool and perhaps before learning to use our fingers and exercising their dexterity. Finger foods, blocks and puzzles are often a good beginning.

Before you work hard at correcting the way a child holds a pencil, you should observe and think about the child themselves. I am a big advocate that not all children learn the same, and I don’t think pencil holding needs to be uniform or will work for every child. It is a necessity, no doubt, and there must be some proper form, or the writing and pressure will not form. If the grip is too far off cramping may occur. If a child is often corrected to hold a pencil “properly” it may feel uncomfortable to them, and they may not enjoy writing and drawing.

While your child is learning to hold a pencil, crayon, marker, take a look at how they hold it. Start with just swirls, lines, and just let them be totally free and abstract, this is how they will become comfortable with the process and then step back and take a look at how they hold their pencil, with what hand, and how important will it be for them to hold it “properly” by school standards.

I know a very smart child who holds his pencil “properly” yet he writes in one full stroke, his pen never leaving the paper until the form is finished. He does this with print, so where one might lift a pen to cross your capital letter E, he does so in one full stroke. He uses this same technique for drawings. He smart and very gifted, he is both right and left brained, so while holding a pencil seems simple, you might rethink it before you conform to what is “proper”.

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The value of handwriting

Handwriting will become extinct some say, with the fast pace of technology. We touch and type and drag and see our children using apps following the same motion. 41 States have opted to teach typing in place of cursive writing. There is such value in handwriting although I do see the need for typing and the value for our new tech savvy world.

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Handwriting works the brain in several ways the binocular teaming with focusing of the eyes, eye hand coordination and good motor skills, it also require spatial perception. The value in handwriting, even cursive writing will always be , in my opinion the best way to learn letters, numbers, reading and writing. It will beĀ especially valuable for those with learning challenges. I also enjoy the way it looks.

When I came across this learning tool I found it really exciting. It uses both motion and sensory with the magnetic balls. Once you use the pencil/magnet to trace the letters, you can use your finger to lay them all down, now you have traced it twice. Genius!! Kids will love the feel, sound and tracing effect. It has the arrows to show haw many and what steps to take. It’s green, and great. I don’t mean the color no using paper over and over. The come in upper, lowercase ad cursive.

The only thing that could make it better for me, is I would love to see the letters just themselves, by that I mean not in order. I am a big fan of learning out of order. That is deserving of a post all it’s own.

Happy Monday.